Greens: First world to blame for third world emissions

They wouldn’t be emitting if we weren’t consuming?

In an article about equitable treatment of nations in a climate treaty, Climatewire reports,

…The 1997 Kyoto Protocol saw a stark application of this principle. Diplomats divided the world into two categories: 37 wealthy, industrialized countries in a category called Annex I charged with reducing greenhouse gas emissions an average of 5.2 percent from 1990 levels, and about 150 others in various stages of development (called non-Annex I) under no formal obligation to cut carbon.

Over the years, Stern and other Western leaders complain, those categories turned into a permanent firewall, with emerging powers cloaking themselves with the phrase “common but differentiated responsibilities” to ward off taking emission commitments, while conveniently forgetting the “respective capabilities” part as they grew wealthier.

Meanwhile, emissions in some of those countries — notably China and India — began to soar, prompting further calls for more balanced responsibilities.

Others, though, argue that the two Kyoto categories exist for good reason. Sivan Kartha, a senior scientist at the Stockholm Environment Institute, said the group of industrialized nations required to cut carbon was never intended to be simply a collection of the largest greenhouse gas emitters, but rather a list of countries with the greatest responsibility to act.

“If you look at responsibility, the North is responsible for maybe something on the order of half of global emissions. But if you take into context consumption, one of the causes of emissions, it becomes more like 65 percent,” he said. “It’s funny how that’s just been relegated to some distant historical fact, but it’s the equity basis of the climate regime.”

The Obama administration has fought hard against that concept, arguing that the United States — which never became party to Kyoto because Congress objected to China’s being let off the hook — will never be able to join a treaty unless all major emitters are held to the same legal obligations. Durban was a major win for the United States on that score…

Pardon us for their economic development.

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